United States President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti the country’s ambassador to India, the White House said. A close ally of Biden, he was the co-chair of his inaugural committee.

If the Senate confirms his nomination, Garcetti will replace Kenneth Juster, who was the US ambassador to India during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.

Garcetti has been the mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. He also served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserve Component for 12 years.

He is also the co-founder of an association called Climate Mayor, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Garcetti led more than 400 mayors in the US to adopt the Paris Climate agreement.

The Los Angeles mayor also chairs C40 Cities – a network of 97 biggest cities in the world taking strong action against climate change. “He has led the organisation’s engagement and expansion in India as well as C40’s global response to the Covid-19 pandemic through the sharing of best practices and resources,” the White House said.

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Garcetti said he was honoured to accept his nomination as the United States’ ambassador to India.

“And should I be confirmed, I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role and will forge partnerships and connections that will help strengthen Los Angeles’ place on the world stage,” he tweeted.

Garcetti’s nomination assumes significance as Biden’s administration has repeatedly emphasised on its commitment towards strengthening ties with India.

The US has also extended help to India for its fight against the Covid-19 crisis. In June, the US said it will share more than six million, or 60 lakh, doses of the coronavirus vaccine with India and other countries. In April, the US had said it would send medical supplies to India to help fight the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, Modi and Biden took part in the first Quad leaders’ summit along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga. Modi said at the summit that the four countries were united by democratic values and will work closely for promoting a stable Indo-Pacific region.